Even for a Haruhi novel, this was a bit of a strange ride.

First, it starts off wrapping up a loose end from The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, with another bout of time travel. What is done seems inconsequential, especially for the amount of space the prologue its in takes up. However, the real purpose seems to be to set up time travel as the main theme of the book.

Because once the introduction is out of the way, things quickly get strange, with Mikuru showing up in the clubroom’s broom closet, and saying that she just went back in time eight days at the insistence of Kyon, with the instant acceptance of her superiors to the request.

And of course, this sets up the main plot and tension of the novel. First, there’s now a second Mikuru that needs to be kept hidden. Second, while she knows what’s going to happen in the next eight days she has no idea why she needed to go to the past, or what she’s supposed to do there. Kyon certainly has no idea what he was thinking over a week in the future, and why he didn’t provide any instructions.

Of course, instructions start appearing in his school locker. The origin is fairly easy to figure, but the instructions seem to be fairly random acts of no consequence….

Structure-wise, this resolves down to to a mystery novel of the ‘whydunnit’ variety. The mystery deepens as more letters arrive, and then things start to come into focus. And then there’s a very sudden action sequence.

That last comes up very suddenly, but as it turns out, is also an integral part of the plot. As usual, Intrigues is a very well put together story, and is probably one of the betters in the series. (I think the translators are also getting better with the idiosyncrasies of the writing, which is also helping a lot.)